2021 Alabama Health Insurance - Affordable Health Plans

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    Looking for health insurance in Alabama but do not know how to get started or even what type to get? There are plenty of options out there, including the federal insurance exchange, private insurers, and even those sponsored by your employment. Alabama individual health plans are a smart option for anyone who wants medical expenses covered—as well as peace of mind.

    Here is everything you need to know about Alabama health insurance, including the various kinds of plans available and information about open enrollment.

    Types of Health Plans

    HMO plans are of the most popular in Alabama, with around 309,466 residents enrolled in one. HMOs, PPOs, and other kinds of health plans can be purchased in Alabama. Here is a short summary of each type:

    Lower monthly premiums than other plan types. Low cost-sharing. Few network restrictions. You need to select a primary care physician and will have to get referrals to see a specialist.

    Has a network of preferred healthcare providers but will still pay for out-of-network services. Higher monthly premiums than HMOs. You do not need referrals. Common among employer-sponsored health insurance.

    Similar to a PPO but does not allow out-of-network services. You have to stick to the providers of the network or the insurer will not pay.

    An option that resembles an HMO but has fewer restrictions. You may even be able to get out-of-network care, as you would with a PPO. You will need a referral for everything.

    Why You Should Have Alabama Medical Insurance

    First, let’s talk about the reasons why health insurance is such a necessity in today’s world. Without insurance, you could end up in financial ruin should anything devastating happen. You may even be denied care if you don’t have health insurance.

    But with a healthcare policy, you are guaranteed:

    • The chance to see a doctor for preventative care and treatment for serious injuries and illnesses
    • Faster diagnoses
    • Control of more serious conditions to keep them from worsening

    It is also a wonderful idea to enroll in an individual health insurance plan for the Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC). MECs are essential benefits granted to you for simply having healthcare. All Marketplace plans come with at least Minimum Essential Coverage, as required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

    Benefits of health insurance include:

    You also don’t have to worry about preexisting conditions! Insurers can no longer deny you for having a pre existing medical condition, such as after effects of a stroke.

    Short Term Health Insurance

    Alabama follows the federal ruling on short term health insurance. Since a 2017 Executive Order and subsequent alterations to regulations by the Department of Health and Human Services, short term health insurance in Alabama can be offered by some private insurers. The maximum initial term is 364 days, but you also get the option to renew for 36 months.

    What You Need To Know About Alabama Health Insurance

    Alabama joins other states in utilizing the federally facilitated healthcare marketplace and allows for enrollment through HealthCare.gov. Presently, two insurers (Bright Health and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama) are offering coverage through the Marketplace, but you can also search for private insurers using comparison websites. Presently, 160,000 people out of a population of nearly 5 million have coverage through the Alabama exchange.

    The average annual employee premium for an employer-sponsored plan in Alabama is around $6,075. The average cost of a single inpatient day—around $1,550.

    Around 10 percent of Alabama’s population is uninsured. Unlike some states, Alabama does not penalize you for not having health insurance. As of 2019, you are not required to enroll for an insurance policy—though it is highly recommended. There is no tax penalty.

    When you start searching for health plans, you will find that there are generally four levels of coverage, also known as metal tiers: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. The highest premiums come with platinum plans, but you also benefit from cost-sharing benefits. Up to 90 percent of health expenses are covered, too. Conversely, bronze tier policies have the lowest premiums, making them highly affordable, but they only cover around 60 percent of any incurred medical expenses.

    If you are under 30 years old, you may purchase a catastrophic plan without needing an exemption. Those who are older than 30 will need a hardship exemption first.

    Right now, major medical plans are offering bronze level health insurance for around $180.00 a month. Silver plans run around $262.00. Gold is $328. However, the monthly cost for someone who is 40 years old is a little more. For instance, a Bronze plan has a deductible of around $8,150, and the monthly cost is $361.29. Silver is $490-500 a month, and Gold coverage is $600.

    Unemployed, Part-Time, and Self-Employed

    These days, searching for health insurance for unemployed individuals is common. More and more people are signing up for unemployment benefits, but they are losing their employer-sponsored health insurance in the process. One option is to enroll into COBRA; few select this, however. COBRA is expensive, sometimes far too expensive for those receiving unemployment to sustain.

    You may also qualify for Medicaid or a subsidy to cover a private healthcare plan. Exemptions may be available, too. However, these depend on your household size and how much you make, not if you are employed.

    What about health insurance for self employed people? That is a bit easier. You can compare Alabama health plans to see which major medical plans are most affordable. Short term health insurance may help you with any gaps. If you are currently low income, exemptions may apply, allowing you to get catastrophic coverage.

    Lastly, part-time employees. Because employers rarely sponsor insurance for employees who work less than full time, you are forced to take a route that is similar to freelancers and entrepreneurs. You have to consider major medical plans or seek out policies from insurance companies.

    Differences Between 2020 Open Enrollment and 2021

    There is one major difference between 2020 and 2021 open enrollment: the global pandemic. Otherwise, not much as changed in Alabama. You can anticipate the same insurance providers on the Marketplace, as well as a few available through comparison websites. One thing to keep in mind is that, all throughout the United States, health insurance carriers have begun increasing 2021 premiums. There are various factors leading to this change, but the COVID-19 pandemic is the main culprit. The cost of testing, as well as the cost of treatment, has influenced premiums for 2021 greatly.

    This trend is happening in Alabama as well. Out-of-pocket maximums, deductibles, and general rates are set annually. Unfortunately, the cost continues to rise. In 2018, the premium for Bronze tier coverage was around $350. The 2020 premium for the same plan is $361. That is around a 4.21% change. Silver saw a drop of 8.30% in the cost, making it more affordable. Gold saw the largest price increase—a 10% increase—bringing the 2018 cost of $581 a month to $643 in 2020.

    Family health insurance in Alabama generally runs around $1,200-$1,500 for a couple over 40 with a child. The average cost is $1,330.

    In short, the official 2021 Alabama Open Enrollment begins November 1, 2020 and lasts until December 15, 2020. Coverage begins immediately on January 1, 2021. That doesn’t mean you have to wait until November to start shopping around Alabama Health Insurance. Compare Alabama health plans today! Don’t wait until the final moment to find a more affordable plan for you and your family.

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    Keep Yourself and Your Family Protected

    Now is the time to start looking at the popular insurance providers in Alabama to see who is going to give you the best deal. There are plenty of reasons to enroll in Alabama medical insurance, especially with the way a global pandemic has changed life as we know it. You need proper medical care and peace of mind now more than ever. Get you 2021 health insurance quotes today! All you need is your zip code to start comparing the prices of major medical plans in your state.

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